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Color of paint on USN helmets.


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True, there were some standard abreviations which may or not be used. MT 5-2 PTR would mean Five inch Mount #2, Pointer. REP-2 LKR LDR would mean Repair Locker 2 Locker Leader. These markings were mostly so that the helmets got back to their correct station, and the same guy got the same helmet each time. Some times there may be a rate and name on them, just depended on how much effort someone wanted to put into them.

Steve Hesson

Senior Chief Signalman

USN Retired

Steve,

could you tell me what 1-DIV means ?

Thanks,

Andrei

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Andrei,

 

1st Division aboard ships is the Deck Division - Boatswain's Mates (or Deck Apes in USN Slang)

Thanks ! thumbsup.gif

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Andrei,

 

1st Division aboard ships is the Deck Division - Boatswain's Mates (or Deck Apes in USN Slang)

Salvage Sailor is corect. Different ships depending on their size and mission also had other divisions with in deck department. for example, 2nd div on amphibious ships is the boat division. They work the assault boats. 3rd div is booms and cranes. The boats are put into the water from skids mounted over the cargo hatches using the cargo booms or cranes. Marine assault cargo/vehicles are then off loaded into the boats (LCVP, LCM, LCR). On most amphibious assault ships, weapons are also part of Deck Dept and make up 4th div. On other ships (destroyers, crusiers, battleships), weapons is a seperate department, with seperate divisions for guns, torpedoes, fire control and missles.

 

The same applies to Air department on an air craft carrier. V-1 flight deck, V-2 Cats and gear (catepults and aresting gear), V-3 Hanger deck, V-4 fuels, V-4 elevators and flight deck control (talkers and the guys in the tower).

 

Engineering is the same.

 

Steve Hesson

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Is it true that "Guns" was sometimes a nickname for gunners? Or, do you think the term referenced gun stations?

 

Mike

"Guns" was a nick name applied to all gunnersmates (who did not nessecarily shoot guns. Thier main function is working the magazines and weapons repair). "Gunner" was the nick name for the head weapons guy on the ship, specifically a Warrent Officer Ordenance type, but on ships not having a Warrent, It could be a Chief or First Class Gunners mate.

 

Most gun crews were made up of supply personnel, and deck Seamen. The supply types were the only ones on the ship who do not have a "Battle" speciality (the galley is closed, no one is getting a hair cut, and the ships store is closed. Some Store Keepers are in the store rooms to issue out "Battle Spares" for repair of equipment, but the rest are on Damage Control teams, Gun Crews or phone talkers arounud the ship.

 

Steve Hesson

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During WWII U.S. Navy ships were painted in a variety of camouflage schemes called "measures". Some were elaborate while some like the measure 11 introduced in September 1941 were basically one color. Measure 11 used a dark blue-grey called Sea Blue (5-S). In June 1941 this was changed to measure 21 and used Navy Blue (5-N). Postwar ships were painted measure 27 in Haze Grey (5-H), usually referred to as "Battleship Grey". I believe the colors Sea Blue and the later Navy Blue come closest to being a "standard" WWII base color for M1 helmets. I notice nobody mentioned the talker helmet which clearly came out of the factory painted in a dark blue-grey. Most light grey helmets are probably postwar as are the many colored helmets. As mentioned above, these helmets were handed down and subject to multiple repaints.

 

Below are some Navy helmets in my collection. The helmet on the left is a fixed bail, front seam painted inside and out in what looks to be Navy aircraft Intermediate Blue complete with a zinc-chromate undercoat. It's possible that it was painted this way on an aircraft carrier. The talker helmet in the middle has the standard factory finish. Note the canvas cover for a 24" searchlight It's sitting on. It's painted in the standard blue-grey used on WWII ships. The talker is a very close match to unfaded paint on the cover. Helmet on the right is a minty late war Schlueter painted in the dark blue-grey over original OD.

 

DSCN4063.jpg

 

Here's the rear of the Schlueter and what I believe to be a scarce Navy blue-grey painted liner.

 

DSCN4066.jpg

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During WWII U.S. Navy ships were painted in a variety of camouflage schemes called "measures". Some were elaborate while some like the measure 11 introduced in September 1941 were basically one color. Measure 11 used a dark blue-grey called Sea Blue (5-S). In June 1941 this was changed to measure 21 and used Navy Blue (5-N). Postwar ships were painted measure 27 in Haze Grey (5-H), usually referred to as "Battleship Grey". I believe the colors Sea Blue and the later Navy Blue come closest to being a "standard" WWII base color for M1 helmets. I notice nobody mentioned the talker helmet which clearly came out of the factory painted in a dark blue-grey. Most light grey helmets are probably postwar as are the many colored helmets. As mentioned above, these helmets were handed down and subject to multiple repaints.

 

Below are some Navy helmets in my collection. The helmet on the left is a fixed bail, front seam painted inside and out in what looks to be Navy aircraft Intermediate Blue complete with a zinc-chromate undercoat. It's possible that it was painted this way on an aircraft carrier. The talker helmet in the middle has the standard factory finish. Note the canvas cover for a 24" searchlight It's sitting on. It's painted in the standard blue-grey used on WWII ships. The talker is a very close match to unfaded paint on the cover. Helmet on the right is a minty late war Schlueter painted in the dark blue-grey over original OD.

 

DSCN4063.jpg

 

Here's the rear of the Schlueter and what I believe to be a scarce Navy blue-grey painted liner.

 

DSCN4066.jpg

Those are really nice helmets. I had never heard Haze Gray called anything other than "Haze Gray". I never heard the term "Battleship Gray" used in the USN. The only folks I ever heard use that term were the Brits. Their ships had a slight green shade of gray and they called that Battleship Gray. I could be wrong though, just never heard the term. It was confuseing when collectors used Battleship Gray to refer to Haze Gray, I always pictured that greenish Brit color.

 

I have seen quite a few talker helmets that had the blue gray paint. While most had it on the inside with a coat of haze gray on the outside, I ran across a few that had it on the out side. Since that color looks like what we refered to as "Deck Gray", I never related it to a specific WW 2 color. We use that color for all horizontal surfaces. While mostly just exterior decks, sometimes we would paint the tops of external lockers splinter shields, any thing facing up. I had one LPO had us go around painting the tops of railing stanchions that color. It was actually my favorite color to paint the helmets. It did not show dirt and grease as much as the haze gray.

 

Steve Hesson

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a front pic of my Navy M1 front seam swivel bail. If you squint you can see CV-20 over B33. The helmet is a dark charcoal grey inside and out with original cork finish. Not a repaint either...no sign of green paint showing anywhere. Liner is not original to the steel pot, just for display. Nice old relic from the USS Bennington.

 

post-1940-1219904956.jpg

 

USS Bennington:

# Commissioned 6 August 1944 as CV-20

# Out of commission in reserve at Norfolk 8 November 1946.

# Recommissioned 13 November 1952 as CVA-20

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Here is a front pic of my Navy M1 front seam swivel bail. If you squint you can see CV-20 over B33. The helmet is a dark charcoal grey inside and out with original cork finish. Not a repaint either...no sign of green paint showing anywhere. Liner is not original to the steel pot, just for display. Nice old relic from the USS Bennington.

 

post-1940-1219904956.jpg

 

USS Bennington:

# Commissioned 6 August 1944 as CV-20

# Out of commission in reserve at Norfolk 8 November 1946.

# Recommissioned 13 November 1952 as CVA-20

very nice, that liner strap, although very worn, its very nice cause, its in one peace! thumbsup.gif

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  • 1 year later...
I don't know how much help this will be. My navy lid is a WWII issue repainted blue/gray, red(I assume fire control) and then finally gray. Take your pick as to which would be right.

In closely looking at this helmet, I think the "Red" is not paint, but a coat of "Red Lead" primer that was commonly used until the early '90s. Also, "Fire Control" in the Navy relates to aiming and fireing the guns. Damage Control/Fire Parties/Repair Lockers generally used red or yellow.

 

Steve Hesson

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